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  1. #1
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    buyers remorse solved...new toy! :)

    I think I bought the wrong bike. I'm going to start shopping around & see if I can afford something better suited to what I'm doing, luckily I bought the bike at REI so I won't lose any money returning it...that definitely could've been an expensive lesson. I got a Diamondback Overdrive 29er about 3 months ago, figured it would be a good first "real" mountain bike, everything said its component set looks good & most beginners are real happy with it. Figured I'd ride it for a year or 2 to see if I get into the sport and then buy somethin' a bit better when the time comes.

    It weighs literally twice what some of the guys I'm riding with & trying to keep up with have. Its derailleurs are CONSTANTLY falling out of adjustment. Like, by the end of a 10 mile ride its not shifting right when it was perfect at the beginning. It's fork bottoms out constantly which I'm pretty sure is why my shoulder has been giving me so much trouble lately. It's a hard tail so if I leave my butt on the saddle on anything but the smoothest terrain or slowest section it bounces me right back out of my seat. The brakes fade by the end of every ride and howl & grind like I'm running over small children. The first chain stretched to unusable status within 150 miles, 2nd one snapped 4 miles into my first ride with it, rear cassette is toast. And today, the back brake locked up then snapped the cable out of the lever & I can't fix it so it needs to be replaced. I was able to finish the trail on the front brake only, although I had to go a lot slower to keep it under control with no rear brakes.

    So, I have to put brakes on it if I"m going to ride it, which I figure I should upgrade to Avid Juicy's. I'm not real happy with the x4 shifters & rear derailleur or the Shimano front derailleur so I'd like to upgrade those to like sram x7s or x9s for the extra gear & snappier shifts. That front derailleur has especially been a nightmare. I could replace all those components on this bike & still have a fork bottoming out causing me agony in my shoulder while lugging 35 lbs of bike up every hill I tackle, or just buy a better bike...

    I'd like to find one that has full susp, a fork with more travel & enough adjust-ability to not bottom out, the x7 or x9 drivetrain or something comparable, hydraulic brakes that don't suck, and weighs in around 25ish lbs or less. Am I overshooting it now? I'm still not even tackling expert trails, but the intermediate to advanced ones around here are nothin' to sneeze at if you ask me. They seem more intense than my bike seems to want to handle...it feels like I'm hitting the bikes limits before I reach my own.
    Last edited by Bill-E-BoB; 08-15-2011 at 09:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    If it's something you think you are going to stick with long term and love riding, there is no risk of going big, it could save money long term as you wont need to replace each part as it breaks.

  3. #3
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    If you are looking to be faster climbing and want a lighter bike, going FS is going to cost you a lot more than a light weight HT. If you shoot for 25 lbs FS with high end / reliable components, you are talking about some serious cash.

  4. #4
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    I may come off a bit harsh here, but all I know of your situation is what I am reading here. I'm not the type to get off by being unduly critical to newer riders that come here looking for help and insight and I don't have the luxury of speaking to you face to face and sometimes it's hard to convey the tone of a message in words typed on a computer. So just know that I am not trying to bust juevos here. Just trying to be honest, given what I have read here, so you can learn.

    If your friends are riding 20lb mountain bikes, they likely have $5K or more invested in them. The WalMart 29er only weighs a relatively paltry 37lbs. I seriously doubt your Overdrive weighs 40lbs, so I have my doubts about your bike literally weighing twice what theirs do.

    If a bike is assembled correctly, the derailleurs don't fall out of adjustment by the end of every ride. The shifting is indexed by the shifter. The derailleur simply moves as it is allowed to by how much cable the shifter feeds it. You might have gummed up cables/housings. Nothing wrong with X.4 shifters and derailleurs IMHO.

    Chains don't stretch, the links (pins/bushings) wear. The original chain on your Overdrive was made by KMC. KMC makes Shimano chains, and make a solid product. The fact that you broke the second one 4 miles into it's first ride after 'wearing out' the first one in 150 miles suggests to me that you may be shifting under load and possibly 'cross-chaining' (riding in gear combinations that have the chain coming off of the cogs and chainrings at relatively severe angles).

    If you're getting bounced off of the saddle on a hardtail, you really shouldn't be sitting in that situation on a full suspension bike either. This (sitting while descending in places you should be standing) is another clue that you are indeed a newer rider. Get your butt up off that saddle and use your arms and legs for suspension, the fork (and rear suspension) is there to take the edge off, not soak up everything while you sit leisurely on the saddle like it's a Lazy Boy sofa. Something that I have found helpful to newer riders descend is to have them use their arms and legs so much that their head doesn't move up or down as they glide along the trail. This also helps your vision since your head won't be bounced around.

    Riding up the hill with full suspension does help to minimize how much you need to get off the saddle while going over rocks and roots compared to a hardtail.

    As for your brakes, I can believe that the Tektro brakes are giving you grief. I have never been a fan of their products for serious riding. But, you could use Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes and be quite happy with their performance if installed and set up correctly. Personally, I would prefer the BB7 over any Juicy brakes I have used. A good set of hydros has a good feel, but I always know I can fix BB7's with relatively little fussing around and no bleeding (and they have plenty of power).

    The fork on your bike is definitely entry level and the performance is never going to wow you.

    So, IMHO, many of the problems on your current bike could be fixed fairly easily and inexpensively and you could likely minimize future problems by changing some of your riding habits. The brakes would require somewhere approaching $150 to outfit you with BB7's, new levers, and new housings/cables.

    A better fork, would require at least $250 if you shopped VERY carefully, and likely be closer to $400 for a fork worthy of purchasing as an upgrade.

    So, upgrading your bike's brakes and fork would likely cost between $400 to $550 at a minimum. And then, those nicer parts are still wrapped around a bike that is decidedly entry level.

    Part of me would suggest that you just fix what breaks with like or slightly better parts and ride that bike while you learn to pick lines and how to descend properly. A reliable entry level hardtail is really good for that and a shiny new FS bike may actually retard your true progress until you're truly ready to go to the next level (after learning good shifting technique, good descending technique and how to pick good lines as well as some basic bike maintenance skills like adjusting derailleurs).

    Make your mistakes on a bike that isn't so costly. Maybe replace the brakes with BB&'s, fix the drivetrain parts (including new derailleur cables and housings) that are truly fubar'd with similarly entry level stuff (it should last fine when used and maintained properly). Then ride it at least until the end of the season before upgrading the whole bike.

    If it is truly a lemon and REI isn't willing to make it run like a top, you could be best off to return it and look for something else. Hard to say if I think this is the case without knowing you and seeing the bike.

    Cheers and I hope you get it sorted out soon

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    JeffJ, IMHO a stellar post. Maybe a little bordering on harsh, but nicely addressing the OPs points. And it doesn't only apply to the OP but also to tons of other newbs (like me) trying to figure out how long to keep and how much to modify our entry level MTBs
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    Oh, by the way, the brake thing is driving me crazy. I hear you on the simplicity of good mechanical discs, aka BB7s. And I definitely respect you as someone who knows what the heck your talking about. But then I had someone else who seems to know what they're talking about tell me even the cheapest hydros are better than BB7s. Strongly recommended Shimanos cheaper hydros. And cheap Shimano hydros aren't that much more expensive than BB7s, so I am not sure which way to go.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  7. #7
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    Are you sure you can return that bike 3 months/150+ miles later? If so, that's a kick-ass return policy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colo Springs E View Post
    Are you sure you can return that bike 3 months/150+ miles later? If so, that's a kick-ass return policy.
    Big chains like that will take a return on pretty much anything. They may "pro-rate" it for wear and age, but it probably won't be much.
    All of the true things I'm about to tell you are shameless lies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colo Springs E View Post
    Are you sure you can return that bike 3 months/150+ miles later? If so, that's a kick-ass return policy.
    REI has a walmart like return policy lol
    Performance bike too

  10. #10
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    I'm w Jeff....

    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    Oh, by the way, the brake thing is driving me crazy. I hear you on the simplicity of good mechanical discs, aka BB7s. And I definitely respect you as someone who knows what the heck your talking about. But then I had someone else who seems to know what they're talking about tell me even the cheapest hydros are better than BB7s. Strongly recommended Shimanos cheaper hydros. And cheap Shimano hydros aren't that much more expensive than BB7s, so I am not sure which way to go.

    I'd take BB7's over cheap hydros all day long. You're new to riding. You'll be able to set up the BB7's fairly quickly and easily. In addition, you can adjust the pads on BB7's. There's no pad adjustment on cheap hyd. brakes.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  11. #11
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    3rd on the BB7's being a better choice than cheap hydro's, the pad adjustment and solid reliability seals the deal.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    JeffJ, IMHO a stellar post. Maybe a little bordering on harsh, but nicely addressing the OPs points. And it doesn't only apply to the OP but also to tons of other newbs (like me) trying to figure out how long to keep and how much to modify our entry level MTBs
    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    Oh, by the way, the brake thing is driving me crazy. I hear you on the simplicity of good mechanical discs, aka BB7s. And I definitely respect you as someone who knows what the heck your talking about. But then I had someone else who seems to know what they're talking about tell me even the cheapest hydros are better than BB7s. Strongly recommended Shimanos cheaper hydros. And cheap Shimano hydros aren't that much more expensive than BB7s, so I am not sure which way to go.
    Thanks for the kind words.

    As for the brakes, when BB7's are set up properly (I can expound on that later, I'm on my way out the door heading to work) with good quality housings/cables/levers, they are on par with many hydros in stopping power and the feel at the lever is plenty smooth enough, though not quite 'hydraulic smooth'. JMHO.

  13. #13
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    Are you shifting during climbs when your drivetrain is under a lot of tension and pressure? I have cheaper components than that and they stay tuned.

  14. #14
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    Suffering from some buyers remorse as well (Trek 3500 disc) and thinking of returning my bike to the LBS. If the return policy is so good at REI maybe I should buy there instead. If you end up returning your bike, let us know. I'm curious to hear how it goes.

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    Sorry for the dleayed reply guys...been a busy day at work.

    Colo, yep REI has 100% lifetime guarantee on everything they sell. Theoretically you could sink a kayak after paddling for 10 years & beat it into nothingness, then take it back and get a full refund. In fact, the girl who sold me my bike actually said some people have decided after a few months that they don't like 29ers & wanted better components on a 26" instead and returned it for their money back, and used the ability to do that as a selling point on the bike. They also took back a lock that had a collar too big to fit through the d ring on my truck bed, a sweat band that didn't fit well under my helmet (nasty, I hope they threw it out!) and a pair of hiking boots my ex girlfriend spent 20 miles trying to break in before giving up on them. Never any hassle or pushback, just a smile & a thank you for being a member. REI is awesome about their returns.

    Jeffj, your reply was very good actually so I'm going to pretty much focus on answers to your comments to catch up on the whole thread. Nothing seemed harsh, either people are too thin-skinned or I'm a bit of a masochist. I actually thought your response was really helpful & well thought out. I'm a logic-based creature though.

    Weight issue, my bike is 36 lbs, one of the guys riding has an 18 lb SS hartail. I have no illusions that I need or even want a bike like that, but 36 is a bit excessive. I took a friends 25 lb FS Trek up the same hill that I can barely climb on my bike & it was so easy I can't even describe the difference. I was barely winded at the top. Maybe it wasn't the 11 lbs of weight, but it couldn't hurt.

    Saddle issue, I'm never seated on a downhill, only on easy to moderate flat & uphill sections just like everyone else out there, and just like you said, absorbing those bumps helps ya through the rocky & rooted uphill sections. I worry a little about giving up momentum when the suspension bobs up & down while I'm going up hill, but it seems like a good trade-off to smooth out the long fast rooty sections of the trails I ride.

    Worn chain issue, you're bustin' my balls on the term stretched, we all know it's not literally made of elastic...stretched is a common term for a worn chain. But to be fair, like you said there's no tellin' if I knew what I was talking about when I said that. I can say that nothing was ever cross-chained, but I do think the first one wore a bit prematurely while I was figuring out how to shift for hills without thumping it in gear under load. 2nd chain never had a chance to be abused, and I think it was caused by the other drivetrain woes I've been having, which may very well be caused by assembly issues. Now that I'm on the 3rd, I clean & lube after every ride, shift very smoothly under minimal load, and take much better care of it. Whatever the case may be, this bike keeps breaking chains & now that I need to buy a new cassette & am considering a 9 speed which would require a new derailleur and new shifters, the cost has to be taken into consideration. Looks like around $200-250 once all is said & done.

    For the brakes, BB7s sound like a good recommendation if I choose to upgrade the current bike instead of buying a new one, but for front & rear thats another $160 to take into consideration.

    My shoulder can't keep taking this abuse from the bottoming out & I really don't think riding style is the primary cause of that problem. I haven't found any particularly good reviews about this Suntour fork, so the cost in orthopedist visits will be quickly offset by a $200-450 fork upgrade.

    So my end result, I come to the same conclusion as you...minimum $4-500 to get my bike in a good state for me to keep on riding & learning on. I could easily spend $960 or more to get all the components I want. No doubt my shifting & decending techniques have changed leaps & bounds since I started riding & wore out that first chain, and maybe a fresh start with properly maintained derailleurs would make mine seem fine, but is it worth spending that kind of money on a beginner bike? I'm taking a trip today to look at a used Giant Anthem with new X9's, cassette, and chain, a Reba fork, race face cranks seatpost & handlebar, Hayes Stroker brakes, and a new set of XO grip shifters. I can't buy all those components for my bike for what the whole bike costs, and that's not even including the savings of returning my 29er for a full refund...and its a muuuuuuuuuccccccchhhhhhh better bike if it's in good shape. So just for the sake of simple math it seems like a better direction to go...am I crazy? I'm bringing my friend who builds high end race bikes along with me to make sure it's in good condition & everything. But it just seems like the logical decision.

  16. #16
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    You're not crazy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-E-BoB View Post
    Sorry for the dleayed reply guys...been a busy day at work.

    Colo, yep REI has 100% lifetime guarantee on everything they sell. Theoretically you could sink a kayak after paddling for 10 years & beat it into nothingness, then take it back and get a full refund. In fact, the girl who sold me my bike actually said some people have decided after a few months that they don't like 29ers & wanted better components on a 26" instead and returned it for their money back, and used the ability to do that as a selling point on the bike. They also took back a lock that had a collar too big to fit through the d ring on my truck bed, a sweat band that didn't fit well under my helmet (nasty, I hope they threw it out!) and a pair of hiking boots my ex girlfriend spent 20 miles trying to break in before giving up on them. Never any hassle or pushback, just a smile & a thank you for being a member. REI is awesome about their returns.

    Jeffj, your reply was very good actually so I'm going to pretty much focus on answers to your comments to catch up on the whole thread. Nothing seemed harsh, either people are too thin-skinned or I'm a bit of a masochist. I actually thought your response was really helpful & well thought out. I'm a logic-based creature though.

    Weight issue, my bike is 36 lbs, one of the guys riding has an 18 lb SS hartail. I have no illusions that I need or even want a bike like that, but 36 is a bit excessive. I took a friends 25 lb FS Trek up the same hill that I can barely climb on my bike & it was so easy I can't even describe the difference. I was barely winded at the top. Maybe it wasn't the 11 lbs of weight, but it couldn't hurt.

    Saddle issue, I'm never seated on a downhill, only on easy to moderate flat & uphill sections just like everyone else out there, and just like you said, absorbing those bumps helps ya through the rocky & rooted uphill sections. I worry a little about giving up momentum when the suspension bobs up & down while I'm going up hill, but it seems like a good trade-off to smooth out the long fast rooty sections of the trails I ride.

    Worn chain issue, you're bustin' my balls on the term stretched, we all know it's not literally made of elastic...stretched is a common term for a worn chain. But to be fair, like you said there's no tellin' if I knew what I was talking about when I said that. I can say that nothing was ever cross-chained, but I do think the first one wore a bit prematurely while I was figuring out how to shift for hills without thumping it in gear under load. 2nd chain never had a chance to be abused, and I think it was caused by the other drivetrain woes I've been having, which may very well be caused by assembly issues. Now that I'm on the 3rd, I clean & lube after every ride, shift very smoothly under minimal load, and take much better care of it. Whatever the case may be, this bike keeps breaking chains & now that I need to buy a new cassette & am considering a 9 speed which would require a new derailleur and new shifters, the cost has to be taken into consideration. Looks like around $200-250 once all is said & done.

    For the brakes, BB7s sound like a good recommendation if I choose to upgrade the current bike instead of buying a new one, but for front & rear thats another $160 to take into consideration.

    My shoulder can't keep taking this abuse from the bottoming out & I really don't think riding style is the primary cause of that problem. I haven't found any particularly good reviews about this Suntour fork, so the cost in orthopedist visits will be quickly offset by a $200-450 fork upgrade.

    So my end result, I come to the same conclusion as you...minimum $4-500 to get my bike in a good state for me to keep on riding & learning on. I could easily spend $960 or more to get all the components I want. No doubt my shifting & decending techniques have changed leaps & bounds since I started riding & wore out that first chain, and maybe a fresh start with properly maintained derailleurs would make mine seem fine, but is it worth spending that kind of money on a beginner bike? I'm taking a trip today to look at a used Giant Anthem with new X9's, cassette, and chain, a Reba fork, race face cranks seatpost & handlebar, Hayes Stroker brakes, and a new set of XO grip shifters. I can't buy all those components for my bike for what the whole bike costs, and that's not even including the savings of returning my 29er for a full refund...and its a muuuuuuuuuccccccchhhhhhh better bike if it's in good shape. So just for the sake of simple math it seems like a better direction to go...am I crazy? I'm bringing my friend who builds high end race bikes along with me to make sure it's in good condition & everything. But it just seems like the logical decision.
    Sounds like you have a good plan if the Anthem fits you properly. Having an improperly fitted bike for the sake of great components isn't going to be a lot of fun for you either.

    Regarding your shifting problems/chain stretch: Yes, not shifting properly will result in ruining the entire drive chain, not just the chain. It sounds like this is what you've done.

    I don't know that I could thrash a bike for 3 months and then return it and expect any sort of refund. You could turn it in to your spare/loaner bike to pay the sport forward? When you upgrade parts on your new bike you could rotate the older parts to your current bike.

    Don't get too hung up on weight. The weight drop from your current bike to an Anthem is significant but the engine has more to do with fitness than the bike weight. A heavy bike just makes you stronger....

    Have fun!

    Ken
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    Oh, by the way, the brake thing is driving me crazy. I hear you on the simplicity of good mechanical discs, aka BB7s. And I definitely respect you as someone who knows what the heck your talking about. But then I had someone else who seems to know what they're talking about tell me even the cheapest hydros are better than BB7s. Strongly recommended Shimanos cheaper hydros. And cheap Shimano hydros aren't that much more expensive than BB7s, so I am not sure which way to go.
    I have a set of Hayes 9 hydraulics and a set of Avid BB7s - they both work just fine, regardless...........I actually like my Avid mech's because they are so easy to work on - it really depends on how much you intend to work on your own bike (I do 97% of my own work)...........
    Rigid 29er Ti SS / 29er SC Tallboy AL

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    Oh, by the way, the brake thing is driving me crazy. I hear you on the simplicity of good mechanical discs, aka BB7s. And I definitely respect you as someone who knows what the heck your talking about. But then I had someone else who seems to know what they're talking about tell me even the cheapest hydros are better than BB7s.
    I'm a hydraulic brake guy but use hydraulics on the north end of the spectrum but if someone told you that the cheapest hydros are better than BB7's they obviously don't know what they're talking about. I am very partial to hydraulic brakes but for a good set you have to start donating body parts. Avid BB7's are great, inexpensive, very tunable, and some experienced bikers would even argue that they are better than any hydraulic brake on the market (I don't agree with that but hey).

    What I am getting at is that if you don't know much about bikes or the different brands and the components they make, you should read these forums with an open mind. While most are trying to help, so much is opinion and can come across as very abrasive.

    I'm sure you've heard it all before but if you're asking opinion it is good to go in with as much knowledge as you can so you can distinguish the worthwhile from the not so worthwhile. I'm not trying to preach to you but this is much cheaper and less stressful than any alternate route I've come across.
    2012 Intense M9
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    How about the Magura Louise BATs that have been coming up on Chainlove recently. They seem to be well regarded, at least mid level hydros, for $200 including rotors front and rear. Not that more expensive than BB7s if you do new levers and cables.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
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  20. #20
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    I haven't seen them for a while but the BB7's were on chainlove for a while for about $35 a set with rotors.
    2012 Intense M9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnozpikr View Post
    I'm a hydraulic brake guy but use hydraulics on the north end of the spectrum but if someone told you that the cheapest hydros are better than BB7's they obviously don't know what they're talking about. I am very partial to hydraulic brakes but for a good set you have to start donating body parts. Avid BB7's are great, inexpensive, very tunable, and some experienced bikers would even argue that they are better than any hydraulic brake on the market (I don't agree with that but hey).

    What I am getting at is that if you don't know much about bikes or the different brands and the components they make, you should read these forums with an open mind. While most are trying to help, so much is opinion and can come across as very abrasive.

    I'm sure you've heard it all before but if you're asking opinion it is good to go in with as much knowledge as you can so you can distinguish the worthwhile from the not so worthwhile. I'm not trying to preach to you but this is much cheaper and less stressful than any alternate route I've come across.
    Thank you and that is basically yhe way I am approaching this. I have done a decent amount of research on the options, but there's always more to learn. I have read many of jeffj's posts and give him high credibility, but though I have forgotten exactly who gave me the other advice, it was also someone I considered credible. These things just work this way. Mechanical versus hydro has 2 camps, those who love BB7s over most or all hydros and those who say any and all hydroa beat all mechanicals. Those hard core hydro fans usually sight lack of modulation with mechanical discs. Actually the exact same situation comes up with v-brakes versus mechanical discs. Some believe even the cheapest discs rule, others believe top quality v-brakes are better than cheap mechs.

    At the end of the day you gotta read up, try to decide who's advice to believe, and just make a decision. Maybe there is no right or wrong, just different opinions. But I still like to hear them and try to make the most educated decision I can.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    At the end of the day you gotta read up, try to decide who's advice to believe, and just make a decision. Maybe there is no right or wrong, just different opinions. But I still like to hear them and try to make the most educated decision I can.
    I think you nailed it. I'm the same way.
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    I almost wrote a post trying to talk you out of spending money upgrading when it sounds like you are hoping the bike would make you immediately a better rider - able to keep up with your friends.

    But then I remembered I love people buying things, especially expensive things - and sharing the fun of their purchase with everyone. Get the new bike man

    Get something awesome and come back with a new thread about your new toy.

  24. #24
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    Say you do return your bike to REI; what price range are you looking at to realistically get a mid 20lbs FS top quality bike? Nothing against REI, I shop there a bunch but they don't sell Specialized, Trek, Santa Cruz, Yeti, Canondale, Ibis, ect...

    I owned hardtails for all my life, and just purchase a FS bike. Two different worlds!!! It's going to take me some time just to get used to the full-suspension.

    Some say get the best that you can afford, and some "me" say make sure that you really love the sport before investing a couple grand on a "pedal" bike.

    Hope this helps

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    Thanks for all the brake opinions guys, but I kind of feel like the thread got side tracked a little. All very good info, don't get me wrong, but the brakes on my DB aren't BB7's OR hydraulic anythings...they're tektro novellas that failed at a very inopportune and dangerous time. The question of "what should I upgrade my brakes to" is a very good one and I hope other members of the forum who are wondering this come across this thread & see all the great recommendations...but my question wasn't that, my question was "should I bother upgrading the components I've broken and worn out on this bike, or get something better?

    The riding I'm doing is clearly taking its toll on a very entry level bike, it's being beaten down by some pretty gnarly trails, and was off to a bad start while I was figuring out how to shift & how not to. When I clip into a higher end bike I find myself riding faster, smoother, enjoying it more, and put less strain on the bikes components and on me. So the question isn't "will a new bike make me keep up with my buddies" it was "this bike isn't keeping up with me, and I don't feel like upgrading components on it makes as much sense as upgrading to a better bike." So that was the real question, am I an idiot to want to dump money into a different bike instead of into replacement parts.

    And good news, I apparently did an awesome job of visualizing what I wanted and letting the universe go find it. Sitting in my garage right now, next to my DB 29er that will soon make its trip back to REI to make another rider very happy with his phenominal scrach & dent deal, there's an absolutely BEAUTIFUL Giant Anthem 2 FS with brand new sram x9 shifters & rear derailleur, x7 front derailleur, rockshox reba fork, mavic cross ride rims, race face cranks seat post stem & bar, a computer, and a spare set of XO grip shifters to install. My friend who races & builds bikes came with me to check it out & was good & thorough and confident that it was a hell of a great deal. And, It only cost me $300 more than the diamondback. I couldn't have done the brakes & drivetrain for that, let alone the rest of the goodies. I'm pretty excited if I do say so myself.

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    Sounds like a sweet deal on a great new ride bill-e-bob

    And sorry, you can blame me for the thread jacking. This is kinda one of those things where everybody has different opinions. MTBRs posting guidelines say to try to find a similiar thread before starting a new one, and you did ask about the brakes so I jumped in there. But then others will view that as thread jacking. Sorry, didn't mean to derail your thread man. Enjoy that new ride, sounds sweet to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
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    no dude, the brake info was good, I totally don't mind jumpin' in. Part of me would like to see just as much detail go into which fork would be ideal and which derailleurs, and which shifters, etc. After my ride tomorrow, I'll report back on how Hayes Stroker hydraulics feel. The big difference I notice immediately riding it around driveways & grass to test ride, one finger is all you need to bring the bike to a stop in a hurry...it's like switching from a car with manual brakes to power brakes. Can't wait to try it out on the trail. And that reba fork.....oooooooooh, it feels so smooth! I wish it weren't midnight right now...

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    I think people are trying to convey an important point - a $500 bike is just that; it will weigh over 30 pounds(particularly if it's a 29er), the fork won't be perfect and the components should be serviceable but not perfect. With just 5 minutes of google it should have been apparent that you were getting a really low end suspension fork.

    If it makes you that unhappy, get another bike. Before you do, learn to shift and learn to tune your components(if they don't work 10 miles later, they probably weren't right to begin with).

    The thread is just kind of weird, in essence you say, "I spent $500 on a 29er bike and it's heavy and the components aren't perfect." In response, I say; sounds about right but the bike is probably more serviceable than you make it sound. 29ers carry a slightly higher price tag for what you get components wise.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-E-BoB View Post
    no dude, the brake info was good, I totally don't mind jumpin' in. Part of me would like to see just as much detail go into which fork would be ideal and which derailleurs, and which shifters, etc. After my ride tomorrow, I'll report back on how Hayes Stroker hydraulics feel. The big difference I notice immediately riding it around driveways & grass to test ride, one finger is all you need to bring the bike to a stop in a hurry...it's like switching from a car with manual brakes to power brakes. Can't wait to try it out on the trail. And that reba fork.....oooooooooh, it feels so smooth! I wish it weren't midnight right now...
    Well I will give you my quick 2 cents, based on what I have read here on MTBR, on what I consider budget friendly fork upgrades. Not that they matter to you with that sweet new ride. But the 2 29er forks I have seen under $350 that seem to be highly regarded are the Manitio Tower Expert, available on Ebay under $350 including shipping. And the Marz 44 Micro Ti that keeps coming up on Chainlove for right around $350:_
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilthemeal View Post
    I think people are trying to convey an important point - a $500 bike is just that; it will weigh over 30 pounds(particularly if it's a 29er), the fork won't be perfect and the components should be serviceable but not perfect. With just 5 minutes of google it should have been apparent that you were getting a really low end suspension fork.

    If it makes you that unhappy, get another bike. Before you do, learn to shift and learn to tune your components(if they don't work 10 miles later, they probably weren't right to begin with).

    The thread is just kind of weird, in essence you say, "I spent $500 on a 29er bike and it's heavy and the components aren't perfect." In response, I say; sounds about right but the bike is probably more serviceable than you make it sound. 29ers carry a slightly higher price tag for what you get components wise.
    I think you're missing the point, or skimming the thread & missing 90% of the details or something. The point was "Hey, tried a beginner bike because I was beginning. Now I've learned a lot and the rides I'm going on are beyond what a beginner bike should be able to do. I think it's already time to try upgrading."

    That realization was followed by yadda yadda yadda and various opinions and details and info about good component upgrades and excessive upgrades and advice on what key skills to address, and confirmation that I have already begun developing those skills and am aware of where they were lacking when I did all the damage to the components that are currently on that bike. The whole saga of one mans journey from beginner to intermediate. I laughed, I cried, I upgraded.

    ...and it all culminates in a happy ending where the money I could've spent upgrading 1 or 2 components instead went to upgrading my entire bike to a really badass higher end bike that has phenominal reviews & is stacked with excellent components, and should now be a good basis for years to come and is totally worth future upgrades and enhancements as my skills improve.

    I'm sorry you're having trouble understanding it...everyone in the thread has been positive & helpful & informative, I'm sure there are people here who'd be more than happy to help you with your reading comprehension too if it was difficult to understand.

  31. #31
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    If I'm not too confused by Giant's penchant for renaming their lines all the time, a friend of mine has the previous-name version of the Anthem.

    Nice bike.

    Funnily enough, the closest to a "me" bike that DB offers is the Overdrive. But the base model is pretty basic.

    The big downside to all this is that you'll have lost your big excuse for your riding buddies' ability to kick your ass.

    And, pics!
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    The big downside to all this is that you'll have lost your big excuse for your riding buddies' ability to kick your ass.
    LOL! I'll find new excuses in time I'm sure! Just because my bike is 10 lbs lighter now than the one I was riding last week doesn't mean my belly is 10 lbs lighter! And besides, for all I know that weight difference may only be noticeable when I'm loading the bike back into my truck at the end of the day. But man, I'm excited to go see how different the whole package turns out!

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    Pics needed tomorrow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oatbag View Post
    Pics needed tomorrow!
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Seconded, need pics or it didn't happen
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Seconded, need pics or it didn't happen
    Oh it happened.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails buyers remorse solved...new toy! :)-newbike.jpg  


  36. #36
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    Nice! Have Fun....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-E-BoB View Post
    Oh it happened.
    Very nice. Go ride, have fun and good luck developing additional excuses and helping people on this forum with reading comprehension (I've tried for years and it seems rather futile).

    Cheers,

    Ken
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  37. #37
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    Those tires gonna slip and slide all over the place. Suggest picking up nobbier tiers to enjoy your local trails the right way. Have fun with new toy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Biker View Post
    Those tires gonna slip and slide all over the place. Suggest picking up nobbier tiers to enjoy your local trails the right way. Have fun with new toy!
    Haha, looks like I found my next excuse! :-)

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    Very nice, now go beat the hell outta that thing!
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  40. #40
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    Congrats on the new bike and thanks for documenting your journey through the forum! I honestly feel like you just saved me from making the same mistake in the near future!

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    Thanks! I wouldn't call it a mistake though...I learned a TON on that diamondback, and it really seemed like the best choice for me to start out on...and it would've been if I actually rode the way I expected to. The only trail I had seen before buying it was Mosquito Flats at blankets...which for everyone outside of atlanta is a very flat very easy 2-way 1 mile loop. I didn't know what to expect on the intermediate or advanced trails and had no idea I'd be riding 'em so soon or so often. And I did what you appear to be doing, which is research the hell out of every bike in my pricerange to make sure I don't get burned...and decided that buying something from REI with their awesome return policy would protect me if I turned out to want something different. And it paid off.

    So I christened the new bike tonight, went riding with a couple friends to break it in. I LOVE this thing!!! Of course, I'm a little slower on the climbs than they are but I'm sure that's just because the tires lose traction. hahaha No, just kidding. But I will say this, it was SO much faster than the DB I was shocked. I reached my limits before the bikes without a doubt, on some of the crazier downhills it felt like it was begging me to go faster but I couldn't convince myself just yet. I've already taken it faster than the DB ever would, and I'm still getting used to smaller tires and more suspension (bucks ya a little bit if you're not careful huh?). I'm taking it back out again tomorrow now that I have an idea of what line to run. I don't know if it's all mental, or if its the components or the weight or what, but even when I forget to lock out the shock on a big climb I am still faster & less winded than I was on the DB. Maybe its all in my head, who knows, but it sure feels a lot better. The best thing is that now I feel like the bike can without a doubt do more than I'm doing, ride faster, climb harder, do more...and I have to improve to do it justice. With the DB, it really felt like I had that bike runnin' full tilt & it had no more to offer which made it hard for me to improve myself.

    Oh, and I inadvertently named it...do people ever named bikes? I posted on facebook "I'd like to introduce the newest member of my family, I think I'll name him Andre." So there ya go, now my Giant is named Andre.

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    Excellent post Bill-E-Bob. I am glad that it worked out where you have a very nice ride. And also that you recognize the Diamondback was no "mistake", but rather a great learning experience. Thanks to the VERY. Generous return policy you were able to decide if you liked the sport with really no risk. If you hadn't stuck with the sport then you could have returned it and moved on with life. Since you do love the sport you can return it and move upwards. But if you had xpent big the first time and not liked the sport.......
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-E-BoB View Post
    Thanks! I wouldn't call it a mistake though...I learned a TON on that diamondback, and it really seemed like the best choice for me to start out on...and it would've been if I actually rode the way I expected to.
    That's a good way to see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-E-BoB View Post
    Oh, and I inadvertently named it...do people ever named bikes? I posted on facebook "I'd like to introduce the newest member of my family, I think I'll name him Andre." So there ya go, now my Giant is named Andre.
    I named my road bike "Ivan" for the (now deceased) tallest giraffe at the San Diego Wild Animal Park because it's an XL (63mm) frame, and has a few spacers under the 40* angle stem.

    My 29er hardtail is named "Sweaty Betty" (even have a custom decal on the top of the wishbone seat stay) after a chair I had many years ago that my friend named because I I had injured my back and spent several days sitting in it while healing

  44. #44
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    My commuters seem to get named. My NY bike was named "Skank." My short-lived semi-disc Seattle commuter was "Her Majesty." My current one is "Mercedes." The Volvo I drove in college was "Herman."

    I think bikes I use to commute have more contact with people who like to name their vehicles. My more serious bikes never seem to get named.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Oh good, I'm not the only crazy one then. I name cars too. Though I kind of have the opposite approach of Andrw. My truck I drive daily to work is just my truck...sometimes the Turd because of the TRD package, but my toys all get names. My bike is now Andre the Giant and my '55 Cadillac is Black Betty.

  46. #46
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    just curious....did you check reviews of the DBack on the REI site b4 purchase?
    reviews--> Diamondback Overdrive 29er Mountain Bike - 2010 Special Buy at REI-OUTLET.com

    such as this one-->

    By dbcooper

    from Raleigh, nc

    About Me Casual/ Recreational

    See all my reviews

    Pros

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    Cons

    Everything
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    Comments about Diamondback Overdrive 29er Mountain Bike - 2010 Special Buy:

    Made the mistake of buying this bike for the price. I coupled it's low price with a discount card and got it for [$]. I still paid way too much! If you're thinking of getting this for it's cheap price, let me save you some time and money. You could just go to [...] and get a cheaper bike that would be just as good. [...]. This bike is wicked heavy, and feels it! Each wheel with tire clocks in over 6lbs! The fork alone weighs 6.9lbs, and the bike comes in around 36lbs. The front suspension bottoms out and adjusting the preload does nothing. It rides way better with the lockout on, which to turn on you need to do a wheelie while twisting the lockout. When doing a wheelie to go over obstacles, the suspension needs to raise up a bit to reach the top, about an inch or so, before you even get off the ground. It climbs horribly too, due to it's heavier than anything wheels. It's weight totally cancels all the point of having a niner. It truly does not have one single component on it worth a duck. Heavy uncomfortable bar, cheap crank, bottom of the barrel derailers, super awful brakes, and the worst seat I have ever sat on. The frame itself has bad welds and even worse geometry to it. [...]!!! DON'T GET THIS BIKE!!!!!!!!!

    Was this a gift?:No
    Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  47. #47
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    I did read that review, and one or 2 others that were pretty negative, but none as negative as that one...but several on REI, on here, and on other sites google turned up that had a lot of positive things to say...so I decided to dismiss this guy as a squeaky wheel because of his negative attitude about it all. But...to be fair...he was spot on about everything. The wheelie-lockout maneuver, the saggy suspension making obstacles weird, the climbing, but the next cheapest 9er that had comparable components was 899 at my LBS (Trek Marlin) so I decided that as a n00b I probably wouldn't notice the complaints he points out & could save some cash by trying it. So many other reviewers were pretty happy with it for entry level.

    and in hindsight, I'm happy I did choose it over the Marlin, because the marlin would've actually cost $50 more than I spent on ol' Andre here, and I never would've been able to return it to buy the Giant if it didn't work out for me.

  48. #48
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    And let's not forgeet, everything we are riding today that is top of the line, will some day be just some run of the mill hand-me-down that you can find on line for super cheap. Mech discs were the SH for a long time too. I'm no pro and have no problem riding a bike that is five years old but in great shape, it was the top of the line at one time.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    I may come off a bit harsh here, but all I know of your situation is what I am reading here. I'm not the type to get off by being unduly critical to newer riders that come here looking for help and insight and I don't have the luxury of speaking to you face to face and sometimes it's hard to convey the tone of a message in words typed on a computer. So just know that I am not trying to bust juevos here. Just trying to be honest, given what I have read here, so you can learn.

    If your friends are riding 20lb mountain bikes, they likely have $5K or more invested in them. The WalMart 29er only weighs a relatively paltry 37lbs. I seriously doubt your Overdrive weighs 40lbs, so I have my doubts about your bike literally weighing twice what theirs do.

    If a bike is assembled correctly, the derailleurs don't fall out of adjustment by the end of every ride. The shifting is indexed by the shifter. The derailleur simply moves as it is allowed to by how much cable the shifter feeds it. You might have gummed up cables/housings. Nothing wrong with X.4 shifters and derailleurs IMHO.

    Chains don't stretch, the links (pins/bushings) wear. The original chain on your Overdrive was made by KMC. KMC makes Shimano chains, and make a solid product. The fact that you broke the second one 4 miles into it's first ride after 'wearing out' the first one in 150 miles suggests to me that you may be shifting under load and possibly 'cross-chaining' (riding in gear combinations that have the chain coming off of the cogs and chainrings at relatively severe angles).

    If you're getting bounced off of the saddle on a hardtail, you really shouldn't be sitting in that situation on a full suspension bike either. This (sitting while descending in places you should be standing) is another clue that you are indeed a newer rider. Get your butt up off that saddle and use your arms and legs for suspension, the fork (and rear suspension) is there to take the edge off, not soak up everything while you sit leisurely on the saddle like it's a Lazy Boy sofa. Something that I have found helpful to newer riders descend is to have them use their arms and legs so much that their head doesn't move up or down as they glide along the trail. This also helps your vision since your head won't be bounced around.

    Riding up the hill with full suspension does help to minimize how much you need to get off the saddle while going over rocks and roots compared to a hardtail.

    As for your brakes, I can believe that the Tektro brakes are giving you grief. I have never been a fan of their products for serious riding. But, you could use Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes and be quite happy with their performance if installed and set up correctly. Personally, I would prefer the BB7 over any Juicy brakes I have used. A good set of hydros has a good feel, but I always know I can fix BB7's with relatively little fussing around and no bleeding (and they have plenty of power).

    The fork on your bike is definitely entry level and the performance is never going to wow you.

    So, IMHO, many of the problems on your current bike could be fixed fairly easily and inexpensively and you could likely minimize future problems by changing some of your riding habits. The brakes would require somewhere approaching $150 to outfit you with BB7's, new levers, and new housings/cables.

    A better fork, would require at least $250 if you shopped VERY carefully, and likely be closer to $400 for a fork worthy of purchasing as an upgrade.

    So, upgrading your bike's brakes and fork would likely cost between $400 to $550 at a minimum. And then, those nicer parts are still wrapped around a bike that is decidedly entry level.

    Part of me would suggest that you just fix what breaks with like or slightly better parts and ride that bike while you learn to pick lines and how to descend properly. A reliable entry level hardtail is really good for that and a shiny new FS bike may actually retard your true progress until you're truly ready to go to the next level (after learning good shifting technique, good descending technique and how to pick good lines as well as some basic bike maintenance skills like adjusting derailleurs).

    Make your mistakes on a bike that isn't so costly. Maybe replace the brakes with BB&'s, fix the drivetrain parts (including new derailleur cables and housings) that are truly fubar'd with similarly entry level stuff (it should last fine when used and maintained properly). Then ride it at least until the end of the season before upgrading the whole bike.

    If it is truly a lemon and REI isn't willing to make it run like a top, you could be best off to return it and look for something else. Hard to say if I think this is the case without knowing you and seeing the bike.

    Cheers and I hope you get it sorted out soon

    Couldn't have said this any better, in fact this is exactly what I did for my first couple years. Except I bought a used 2000 GF Hoo koo e koo and rode the piss out of for two years, emphasis on riding the piss out of it. Now that I just my first real nice bike and all the skills that I have aqcuired over many miles really starts to come through.

    I wouldn't even think about getting another bike until at least a year, because once you start needing to replace or service a full suspension, things get a bit pricier and it's best to take those crashes, trial and errors on a bike that your ok with taking a beating on.

    Put new brakes, shifting/drive train, and a good used front fork on your bike and your good to go. Also keep in mind that new rims might be in your future as well.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil' Red View Post
    Couldn't have said this any better, in fact this is exactly what I did for my first couple years. Except I bought a used 2000 GF Hoo koo e koo and rode the piss out of for two years, emphasis on riding the piss out of it. Now that I just my first real nice bike and all the skills that I have aqcuired over many miles really starts to come through.

    I wouldn't even think about getting another bike until at least a year, because once you start needing to replace or service a full suspension, things get a bit pricier and it's best to take those crashes, trial and errors on a bike that your ok with taking a beating on.

    Put new brakes, shifting/drive train, and a good used front fork on your bike and your good to go. Also keep in mind that new rims might be in your future as well.
    Good points, very true, but if you read all the posts Bill-E-Bob already bought a used Giant Anthem for a pretty nice price so its too late to advise him againsy full suspension.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    Good points, very true, but if you read all the posts Bill-E-Bob already bought a used Giant Anthem for a pretty nice price so its too late to advise him againsy full suspension.
    ...and, it's awesome!

    Seriously though, for others reading this thread to decide on their first and second bikes, consider this: The Mavec Crossride Disc wheelset the previous owner had put on this Giant alone is more expensive than the entire diamondback. I bought the diamondback to learn to ride and decide if I liked it, and I did, and I broke a few parts in the learning process, and I gained a lot of knowledge and conditioning. There's a time where every rider maxes out what his entry level bike can do...mine just happened to be 350 miles into the game. Now I've gone out & picked up equipment that will let me develop to the next level. What I hope others learn from my experience is that with a knowledgable friend willing to help make sure you don't get burned, you can find some amazing deals on used bikes to get you up into the higher end gear for the same price range you were looking at entry level stuff.

    Adding parts to an entry level bike to try desperately to make it somewhat mediocre on advanced trails just seems fiscally irresponsible if nothing else when there's an $1800 bike with $1200 worth of upgrades and new components on it that you can take home for $300 out of pocket. And by the way, the bike doesn't make the rider, I know, but it does make a huge difference to be able to ride to my full potential & see that the bike still has reserves...I felt like I was throwing everything I had at the trail on that Overdrive & as soon as I hit the same trail with the Giant, I dropped 3 full minutes off my lap time on a 3.2 mile loop. It's more nimble, faster, WAYYYYY easier on hills, more responsive in turns and over jumps, more comfortable when seated, more natural when standing, 10 lbs lighter, seems to be more durable so far, and I won't be outgrowing it any time soon even if I end up entering races down the road. Best $300 I ever blew a budget by.

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